Music played an important role in the Goryeo dynasty. The administrative apparatus of Goryeo was largely Confucian in orientation and as such, music was considered to be of paramount importance in the proper performance of rituals. The Goryeosa mentions that Chinese ritual music was originally performed together with indigenous Goryeo music at the ancestral shrines of the Goryeo rulers. This fact is significant because it reveals the existence of heterogeneous elements within a tradition that is often portrayed as homogeneous and also offers an avenue for further exploration into the composition of Goryeo ideology. The present article looks at Goryeo ideology from a pluralist perspective. Using the example of mixed performances of ritual music, it describes and analyses the co-existence of different ideological elements in the same space. As such, it tries to offer an alternative for the abundance of one-dimensional characterizations of Goryeo and argues that in Goryeo's ideological landscape ideology functioned in a dynamical discourse where boundaries overlapped, intersected and were never absolute. In short, this article explores the different ideological elements of Goryeo by means of focusing on Goryeo ritual music.
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